There will be a walkout at 150 Starbucks locations over the Pride decorations.

There will be a walkout at 150 Starbucks locations over the Pride decorations.

There will be a walkout at 150 Starbucks locations over the Pride decorations. Workers at over 150 different Starbucks locations are planning to go on strike this Friday, stating that they were prevented from putting up Pride decorations at many of those sites, an allegation that the corporation denies.

“Starbucks is scared of the power that their queer partners hold, and they should be,” said Moe Mills, a shift supervisor from Richmond Heights, Missouri.

More than three thousand Starbucks employees are expected to begin a weeklong walkout on Friday, according to Starbucks Workers United. The strike will begin at the company’s flagship store in Seattle. The union claims the incidents involving Pride decorations are just the most recent examples of retaliation against workers. Previous examples include denying workers access to benefits and terminating an employee.

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Starbucks spokeswoman Rachel Wall told The Washington Post that the union was disseminating misinformation and that the walkout was a “tactic used to seemingly divide our partners.”

In addition, “we apologize to our customers who may experience an inconvenience at these locations,” she said.

Last week, the union claimed that regional Starbucks management discouraged local stores from displaying Pride flags and other symbols of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Managers’ texts and a memo appear to imply regional instructions were issued to ensure stores adhered to a more “consistent experience,” which the company used as evidence that employees were restricted in their ability to display holiday decorations. The Post was unable to confirm the authenticity of the communications on its own.

In a statement to The Post, the union clarified that it is not suggesting that the alleged incidents were the result of “corporate top-down national policy,” but that it is “very hard to believe that corporate was unaware” of the occurrences.

Starbucks has disputed these claims emphatically, citing its “gender transition guidelines” and the inclusion of gender reassignment surgery in the company’s health insurance as examples of the decades-long support it has provided for LGBTQ+ employees. Wall added that the organization has always encouraged “partner celebrations and recognition of a variety of heritage months.”

Wall said, “As for in-store displays, partners and store leadership continue to find ways to authentically celebrate with their diverse communities year-round within our safety standards, signage policies, and dress code.” This statement implies that the store managers and regional leaders may have been going against corporate guidance.

“All reported partner concerns on this matter are taken seriously, routed for leadership review, and addressed,” she wrote in an email.

Howard Schultz, founder and former CEO of Starbucks, testified in front of a congressional hearing in March to address allegations that Starbucks had engaged in “union busting” by intimidating workers who were attempting to form a union. Schultz said he had nothing to do with the closure of unionized outlets and denied any involvement in the firing or reprimanding of union organizers.

The judge’s finding that Starbucks had violated federal labor law in an “egregious and widespread” way by trying to stifle union campaigns came just weeks before that testimony was given.

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